I have a friend who has a tick infestation in their small yard. Their dogs continue to be covered in ticks after they go outside (even after they've had someone "spray" their yard). I've recently read about food grade DE and recommended that my friend use it for his tick problem. I know it needs to be dry in the areas he uses it, but is there any other information I should give him?
Thanks for the question: I totally understand what your friend is experiencing. Both me and my parents have went through this scenario.
I would treat the dog and the yard as two separate things:
1) I would apply DE to the dog as a deterrent for fleas and ticks. I would also treat the dog's bedding, housing if it has a specific place that it sleeps. My lovely wife has written a quick guide to treating pets (and a lot of other things). You can read more http://myabundantliving.com/diatomaceous-earth/
2) For the yard, you are correct that DE would work. It would not be my first choice just because it will also kill helpful insects and it is going to take a lot of DE. I highly recommend chickens or guineas. We had lots and lots of ticks. Our 25 chickens cleaned up our 5 acre property in a short amount of time. My parents had massive amounts of deer ticks and regular ticks. The chickens cleaned house. This past year they added guineas will do the job even better, but they are noisy - very fun, but noisy.
Even if your friend cannot "keep" chickens, I would "rent" a chicken from someone. If he/she could keep 1 or 2 hens for even just a week or 2 in the back yard, not only would he/she have great entertainment, but they would not have ticks. They might have to rinse and repeat as needed. Obviously, the dog and neighbors could be issues, but there are creative ways to work around it.
I have used DE to rid my garage of ants. It took a lot of DE, but it worked. DE also takes care of the fruit flies that occasionally gather around my keifer. It's a great wormer and delouser for livestock as well.
[quote=Bobby Thoman]I have used DE to rid my garage of ants. It took a lot of DE, but it worked. DE also takes care of the fruit flies that occasionally gather around my keifer. It's a great wormer and delouser for livestock as well. [/quote]
Agreed. It really is crazy what all DE can do. In fact, it is so weird that when you make a list, people have a hard time believing it.